Last week, we witnessed the horrific attacks against the Sikh community in Oak Creek, Wisconsin and the Muslim community of Joplin, Missouri. We at IFYC are deeply saddened by these hateful acts of prejudice and mourn the loss of life. During this same week of prejudice, we also witnessed acts of community and strength, showing us that the forces of pluralism are stronger than the forces of prejudice.
Members of the Sikh American community served food and water to reporters and first responders on the scene. College students organized rallies in support of their Muslim neighbors in Joplin. Murfreesboro opened its first Islamic center for the city’s Muslim American community following almost two years of controversy.
Here at IFYC, we are continuing our work to make interfaith cooperation the norm in our society. You, along with your colleagues and students, can join these leaders in writing the next chapter in the story of American pluralism. I am excited to share with you a few ways to get involved in building interfaith cooperation this coming academic year:
- Send a campus delegation to the Interfaith Leadership Institute (ILI) at University of Southern California from October 28th – October 31st in Los Angeles, CA.
- Administer the Campus Religious and Spiritual Climate Survey (CRSCS) on your campus. Early Bird Registration ends September 30th.
- Join the President’s Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge by October 15th to advance interfaith service on campus
Please visit www.ifyc.org to find out more information on how to support your local Sikhs and Muslims during this tragic time. As always, thank you for your partnership, and I look forward to sharing in the work ahead of us.
Eboo Patel, Founder of the Interfaith Youth Core”